The South Asian Times

18 October 2018 12:45 PM

HC bars Rohini ashram from using 'Vishwa Vidyalaya' tag

By IANS

New Delhi, Feb 8: The Delhi High Court on Thursday barred Rohini-based ashram Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya from representing itself as "Vishwa Vidyalaya" and directed the CBI to follow all possible steps to trace self-styled godman Virendra Dev Dixit.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar ordered that Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya be prohibited from using the term "Vishwa Vidyalaya" or University in any manner in its name as it violates the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act.

As per the UGC Act, "University" means an institute established or incorporated by or under a central act, a provincial act or a state act.

The court said the use of expression "Vishwa Vidyalaya" by the ashram violated law.

Observing that the CBI had done its best to trace the founder of ashram, the court directed probe agency to follow all possible measures, as per law, to secure rgw appearance of Dixit in the court.

The court also directed Delhi Police to facilitate a meeting of the family members of the women and girls illegally confined in the ashram and listed the matter for March 15.

However, the ashram's counsel said that not a single girl was confined in the ashram and as per the institute's rule only parents were allowed to meet girls and not the relatives.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered three cases against Dixit for allegedly keeping several women and minor girls hostage at his ashram here.

Earlier, the High Court had transferred the case from the police to the CBI and asked the agency to forthwith set up a special investigation team to probe various FIRs of girls and women who were allegedly lured into the ashram on the pretext of spiritual guidance but then raped.

The Delhi High Court had in December 2017 appointed a committee for inspecting the institute and directed an officer, not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police, to conduct an inspection of the ashram.

Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal was also asked to accompany the police during the inspection.

The committee had told the court that the girls and women were kept in the ashram in "unhygienic and animal-like conditions with no privacy even for bathing".

The court was hearing a plea filed by NGO Foundation for Social Empowerment.

Update: 08 Feb, 2018

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